Hey, I don’t make these things up! I've been known to exaggerate once in a while—to use a little literary license--but pure fabrication? Nuh-uh. This is an Associated Press headline from Portland, Maine, dated September 3, 2009.
“A Maine man caught peering up at a girl from below an outhouse toilet seat four years ago stands accused of crawling into another pit toilet…’
Well, yes! I can see where, once a body has experienced wading through other peoples’ waste products, it would become addictive. Old habits are hard to break, and a thrill like that one simply begs to be repeated.
Ugh. With headlines like these…who needs tourists?
I suppose none of us actually ever INTENDS to use those rest area privies, but it sure is nice to know they’re there. Just in case. Because sometimes…you simply can’t wait.
Here is some incentive to do just that. This incentive is called, “There might be a REAL LIVE PERSON UNDER THERE!” Holy smokes…
The Privy Prowler initially said he “crawled into the waste-filled pit to retrieve a T-shirt…”
Okay. Let’s assume the man was telling the truth. I agree, it’s a stretch; but here in America a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, right? Therefore, it must also be supposed that a man is considered sane until proven to be a STARK RAVING MAD NUT CASE. Let’s say our accused really did drop his T-shirt into that small hole. That begs the question, why did he have his shirt off in the first place? Or, if he didn’t, what was he doing dangling his spare over the chasm of septic delight? Wouldn’t anyone with one iota of common sense say to themselves, “Hmm. Since I have to stand here holding my T-shirt aloft in a cramped, enclosed outhouse, perhaps I should close the lid over the hole.”?
However it happened, we are assuming our model citizen did, in fact, drop a T-shirt into the pit. My first reaction? LEAVE IT! It’s just a T-shirt! Lying in human poo! Run away, as fast as you can! And enjoy the heck out of yourself while recounting such a hilarious story.
But wait. We need to give our prowler every benefit of the doubt. Perhaps the T-shirt is special. Perhaps it’s one of a kind, or it has sentimental value. (Mutters Karen, “Then don’t take it into a public outhouse where there is a HUGE possibility that you’ll accidentally drop it into a small ten-inch hole!”) And, ah…for the record, I did NOT go and measure one. I relied on my husband’s excellent recollection of the mundane to give me that gem of lavatory trivia. I know for a fact that he once measured the posterior of someone very close to him while trying to craft a homemade toilet seat.
But that’s a long story for a different day. (Please stay tuned…)
So, the T-shirt was special. Irreplaceable. Then, here’s an idea! Get a stick! Rest areas are always tucked amongst the trees. Post a guard on the outhouse door and go find a branch. Poke it down into the hole. Pick up the shirt. Pull it very carefully out of the abyss.
And then throw it away, for crying out loud!!! Along with the stick! Good heavens! Where do these people come from?
Maine, you say? Ahem. Well. Excuse me for a moment while I try to think of a snappy comeback…
It really doesn’t matter where these people come from, does it? Really? That’s not the point. The point is, our hapless young man didn’t think of the tried and true Stick Retrieval Method. Not everyone is 'privy' to the wealth of knowledge that this country girl has amassed over the decades. (Pardon me, for I do love a good pun…) And without that primitive tool at his disposal, the lad had no other option. The T-shirt MUST BE SAVED! Throughout history, there have been tales of men just like him, who have tossed caution to the wind and dived into the trenches, sacrificing themselves for the greater good.
I hope caution smells better than a pit privy, but I’m standing up-wind, nonetheless. No sense in taking chances, after all.
And there you have it. One man’s battle to save his T-shirt. The back of the outhouse simply had to be entered. That great mountain, Old Smokey, was revealed in all its glory. (Of course, it only smokes intermittently and for a short while, and just on really cold days. Again…I haven’t witnessed this phenomenon first-hand, but relied on Mr. Grumble once more--this time on his experiences with taking the dog for her morning walk on our bitterly cold winter days…)
What? Some things are notable and worth documenting, that’s all! Sheesh.
Moving right along…
Voila. A completely believable story. The spare, irreplaceable and sentimentally valuable T-shirt was accidentally dangled over a small hole while the lid was inadvertently left in the 'UP' position. The T-shirt dropped like a stone, giving our hero no opportunity to take a pre-emptive swipe for it. A stick was not to be found within a half-mile radius of the rest area…for we all know such things are fairly scarce in the Pine Tree State. The local fire department, which usually responds to these public service calls of distress, was busy rescuing a fellow from underneath the head in a fishing trawler, where he had descended in order to retrieve his priceless gym socks. And so…naturally, our misunderstood gentleman had no choice. He had to reclaim his T-shirt by whatever means necessary.
Really…it’s what any one of us would have done.
Alas, our hero lost the battle, and emerged from the cesspool empty-handed. I think we, the benevolent taxpayers, should make it up to him. I think WE should give him a new T-shirt to replace the one he lost.
An orange T-shirt. With matching pants. I’m thinking he’d look good in orange.